The Santa Barbara Police Department will conduct a Vision Zero pedestrian safety-enforcement operation on Sept. 8 intended to educate drivers and pedestrians on traffic laws meant to keep them safe on the road.

Shared responsibility is a key component of the city of Santa Barbara’s Vision Zero strategy, which aims to eliminate all serious and fatal collisions from city streets. Education and enforcement actions are an integral part of the four-pronged approach to Vision Zero, which focuses resources on evaluation, education, enforcement and engineering to prevent traffic-related serious injury or death in the city.

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and pedestrians that are illegal and dangerous. Special attention will be directed toward drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, speeding, making illegal turns, not stopping for signs and signals or any other traffic violation.

Officers will stop pedestrians who cross the street illegally, fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way, or are distracted while walking.
Pedestrian fatalities are rising at an alarming rate. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed on California roads, up nearly 33 percent from 2012. In 2018, The Santa Barbara Police Department has investigated three fatal and 69 injury collisions involving pedestrians.

Pedestrians should only cross streets using crosswalks or intersections, preferably with a stop sign or signal. Pedestrians should be looking for cars backing up and avoid darting between parked cars, make eye contact with drivers, and wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.

Drivers should wait for pedestrians to cross the street, slow down or prepare to stop when crossing an intersection where there is foot traffic and stop at the crosswalk line to allow other drivers to see and yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians and drivers can also ensure everyone gets where we need to go safely by avoiding distractions.

“Drivers and pedestrians should be looking out for one another and not down at their phone,” Sgt. Brown said. “When it comes to roadway safety, they share equal responsibility.”

The Santa Barbara Police Department supports the new OTS public awareness campaign Go Safely, California, a resource for Californians on how to be safe on the go. To find out more about the campaign, visit
Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

— Anthony Wagner for Santa Barbara Police Department.